But strikes may hit in January
Union leaders at Unite have rejected British Airways’ offer to settle the ongoing dispute between the two parties, but apparently workers will not take strike action during the busiest winter periods Christmas and New Year.
It’s good news for the time being for those travelling to visit family and friends over the holiday season and for those escaping to the slopes; the last week of December also coincides with the start of the ski season.
Union officials will conduct a new ballot and say they want binding arbitration of all cabin crew disciplinary cases and for staff travel concessions to be reinstated (the airline had warned strikers that their concessions would be cancelled if they took strike action).
Tony Woodley, joint general secretary at Unite, said, “BA’s continued hounding of our members leaves us no option but to conduct a new ballot. Our door is open to negotiations but BA must understand the depth of feeling among our members.”
Cabin crew went on strike in March, May and June this year, during a total of twenty-two days, and it looks like more industrial action will be taken after the new year, possibly as soon as early January.
BA have responded by saying, ““Tony Woodley shook hands with us on an agreement in October and said he would let cabin crew vote on the deal. Unite has broken this promise and instead has now chosen to create fresh uncertainty for customers. “Should any industrial action take place, we are confident our well-established contingency plans will allow us to operate normal timetables at Gatwick and London City airports. At Heathrow, we will aim to run a substantial proportion of our short-haul programme and 100 per cent of our long haul operation.”